This the quality of the print you get if purchased
I love the action in this movie be I could'nt get my mind into it. Its most deffinately a collectors piece simply because Hwang Jan Lee is in the movie.
Set in Korea in 1904,the invading Japanese army have taken control & forced the Korean army to dissarm.
The Korean soldiers are made to strip from their uniforms & are beaten & humiliated by the occupying Jap forces.But two of the Korean`s won`t give in that easily & escape,then start to cause the Japs as much trouble as they can.I don`t know many of the actors involved but James Nam shares the lead role with a Korean guy I`ll call Koji,his character name.These two tough guys beat up Japanese soldiers whenever they get the chance & find themselves in possession of the Japanese Generals medal.Of course the General is none too pleased as losing his medal will cost him his life if he doesn`t get it back within 3 days.He decides on a strategy of divide & conquer then sends his troops after the two rebels.
Hwang Jang Lee is the reason I wanted to see this & I hoped that he would have a good role & be
involved in some of the action.So I was glad to see him show up early on with a cool fox type look.
Unfortunatlely though, a few blistering kicks later he was dead meat courtesy of three samurai.
But all was not lost as the actor playing Koji put in a great performance.Being an early 70`s film
the choreography wasn`t too complicated but the action is at a fast pace.Koji really stood out
displaying some excellent legwork.He does some great jumping double kicks & the multiple quick fire
kicks to the face on one leg.He even got in the run & jump off the wall kick that Kwan Yung Moon uses.
Towards the end of the film Koji has to run the gauntlet taking on the Generals best fighters.
A nice bonus here is that was one of his first four opponents was Hwang Jang Lee looking totally different to the character he played earlier.Again he gets a few kicks in but doesn`t last long as Koji is on fire going through foes who just keep coming.He also fights off the three samurai with an axe & has a wrestle with a big bald guy who looked familiar.
I wasn`t really expecting too much from this film but ended up enjoying quite a bit.
Even though Hwang just had a small part there is fair bit of good kicking action here from the lead guy & supporting cast.
A couple of things of note,animal lovers won`t be pleased at the sight of the evil Jap General
throwing a puppy down to the floor & he also eat`s what looked like a live goldfish.
I`m not a history expert but seeing a soldier pull up on a motorcycle & sidecar seemed a few years
out,seeing that this is supposed to be 1904 ?
Not a classic but quite good & worth seeing for Hwang completists & the lead actor who ever he is ?
April 1904 – the brutal takeover of Korea by the Japanese has the Korean army struggling to keep the country together. But when they lose their lead and are faced with the might of the Japanese military, the real battle begins. Tormented and held captive in a makeshift military prison, the Koreans fight an incredible martial arts battle for their honor. Leading them is one soldier, Han, who keeps the sprit and the strength of his country alive, surviving to see it free once again.
That’s how the back of one of the DVD editions sketches the historical background of Kill The Shogun (and it’s a lot better than the other DVD edition which claims that the action takes place in the 16th century and has a 16th century samurai on the cover! Tsk, tsk, watch the movie before you sell it). Kill The Shogun has not much to do with killing shoguns, but all the more with hitting and kicking evil Japanese imperial minions. It is an old school classic directed by D. Young Lee (famous action director Lee Duyong who according to many mainstream film critics never fulfilled his potential: I beg to differ!) with not-so-successful South Korean singer/actor turned very successful Hong Kong action star James Nam (Nam Seok-Hun is his Korean name) kicking butt, Hwang Jang Lee in a small role (two actually, apparently they ran out of extra’s at the end), David Kang (Kang Dae-Heui) also smashing heads and lots and lots of nicely choreographed (nothing shocking though) fight scenes in which the outnumbered Koreans kick Japanese ass. The plot? Oh, you’ve seen that one before- several times in fact. Invasion, surrender, resistance of the brave few, torture, treason and lots of punching, kicking and walking into a wall to commit suicide. Yes, walking into a wall to commit suicide. No, I didn’t get this either and as far as I know, it’s not a Korean cultural thing. But there you have it, walking into a wall to commit suicide. It sure looks nicer and tidier than slicing open your abdomen, but it lacks some of its drama and the message that says: “Hey, pay attention, this is a grand gesture being performed here.”
There are a few things worth mentioning except for the movie’s generic fun value: evil Japanese Imperial Army officers with 70s hairdo and aviator sun glasses, dramatic(ally bad) music, bad Japanese kempeitai dude in Gestapo coat and Gestapo glasses aided by bad Japanese kempeitai dude in white suit, shaven skull and wrestler’s mustache and the following conversation between the Japanese überbaddie and his underling when the former swallows a goldfish alive:
Do you like the natural method in which I eat sashimi?
Oh yes, your method has the advantage of being organic.
I am afraid that actual goldfish were harmed during the shooting of this movie and can only hope this scene was shot in one take. Nuff said. Despite the poor goldfish, I have to say that I was entertained.